Humayun Ahmed

Humayun Ahmed (Bengali: হুমায়ূন আহমেদ) (13 November 1948 – 19 July 2012) was a Bangladeshi author, dramatist, screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker.[2] Ahmed emerged in the Bengali literary world in the early 1970s and over the subsequent decade became the most popular fiction writer of the country. His breakthrough occurred with the help of Ahmed Sofa[3] and the publication of his first novel, Nondito Noroké in 1972.[4] He was a former professor of Chemistry at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Notably, as of February 2004, Ahmed continued to top the best sellers list of Bangla Academy (Bangladesh) book fair, a feat that had been maintained over the previous two decades.[5]
In 2012 he was appointed as a special adviser to the Bangladesh Mission in the United Nations.[6]
As a writer, Ahmed often displayed a fascination for creating stories around supernatural events; his style was characterized as magic realism.[7]


Early life

Humayun Ahmed was born in Mohongonj, Netrokona, but his village home is Kutubpur, Mymensingh,[8] Bangladesh (previously East Pakistan). His father, Faizur Rahman Ahmed, a police officer and writer, was killed by Pakistani military during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. His mother is Ayesha Foyez. Humayun's younger brother, Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, a university professor, is also a writer of mostly science fiction genre and a newspaper columnist.[9] Another brother, Ahsan Habib, is a painter and the editor of Unmad, a cartoon magazine. Ahmed was married to Gultekin, granddaughter of Principal Ibrahim Khan, in 1973. The couple got divorced in 2003. He later married TV actress, Meher Afroz Shaon.

Education and early career

Humayun Ahmed went to many schools in Sylhet, Comilla, Chittagong, Dinajpur and Bogra as his father lived in many places upon official assignment. He passed the School Certificate Examination as a student of Bogra Zilla School in 1965. He stood second in the merit list in the Rajshahi Education Board. Later he was admitted to the Dhaka College & passed the Intermediate Examination in 1967. He initially planned to study economics but suddenly changed his mind and got admitted into the Dhaka University to study Chemistry. He passed both B.Sc (Honours) and M.Sc with First Class. Subsequently he joined the Dhaka University as a Lecturer in Chemistry. Later he went abroad to the North Dakota State University in the United States to study for Ph.D. After having studied physical chemistry for two years he was impressed by the lecture of a professor of polymer chemistry; and eventually secured a Ph.D degree in polymer chemistry. He returned to Bangladesh and resumed teaching at the Dhaka University. He retired as a teacher around mid 1990s to devote all his time to writing and production of film.

Television and film

His first television drama was Ei Shob Din Ratri (Tale of our daily lives), and was followed by the comedy series Bohubrihi, the historical drama series Ayomoy, and the urban drama series Kothao Keu Nei (Nobody Anywhere). The last one featured a fictional character of an idealistic gang leader named Baker Bhai, who was wrongly convicted and executed. Baker Bhai became such a popular character that before the last episode was aired, people across the country brought out processions protesting his death sentence; public prayers and death anniversaries have been observed for this fictional character by Ahmed's fans. Nakshatrer Raat (The Night of the Stars) was a long serialized televised drama that explored many facets of modern human life and relationship.
Ahmed explored the film industry both as an author and director. He directs films based on his own stories. His first film, "Aguner Parashmoni", based on the liberation war, won the National Film Award in total eight categories, including Best Picture and Best Director. The theme of the Liberation War often comes across in his stories, often drawing upon Ahmed's in-depth memories of that war and his father's execution during the war.
Ahmed's film Shyamal Chhaya was submitted by Bangladesh for Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. This film was also based on the liberation war of 1971. It portrayed a realistic picture of the liberation war without malice and prejudice.[10]
Ahmed also wrote songs for few of his own films and plays. Some of the notables are titled as Ami Aaj Bhejabo Chokh Somudrer Joley, Chadni Poshor Ratey and Amaaar Achey Jol.

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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